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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  December 4, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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and it's war. no, not a war on christmas, no, republicans are at war with john boehner. ♪ >> the speaker's proposal right now is still out of balance. >> their proposal would raise taxes on millions of middle class families. >> when you look at the math, it doesn't work. >> we can generate revenues not from raising rates but from reducing the exemption it's, the deductio deductions, and the loopholes out there. >> it would take me too long to go through all the math. >> we're going to have to have higher rates. it's not me being stubborn or partisan. it's just a matter of math. >> this is a continuation of hirs campaign. he thinks he won it. >> president obama has been re-elected. >> to get a deal done, you're going to have to have higher tax rates on the top 2%. >> the one thing the republicans have going for them is they're leaning on erskine bowles. >> i heard what you were saying. you know nothing of my work. you mean my whole fallacy is
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wrong. >> i'm happy to be flexible. i recognize i'm not going to get 100%. ♪ >> it certainly 'tis the season and whether you're counting the days to the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling, christmas day, or judgment day, there's much to do and not much time to do it. as for us, we're counting down the minutes to house speaker john boehner who will be lighting the capitol christmas tree 234 just about an hour. if you're among the wealthiest of americans, then, boy, does boehner have a gift wrapped for you. in republicans' counteroffer to avert the fiscal cliff, the rich get to keep their bush era tax cuts, even as the boehner budget slashes $1.2 trillion in spending, half of it from medicare, medicaid, and other social programs. it is a lump of coal delivered
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by the republican reindeer to the vast majority of americans. as for new revenues, they have reached in santa's sack for that old favorite. they plan to raise $800 billion by closing loopholes and deductions. only one problem a problem that flummoxes no less than mitt romney and paul ryan throughout the campaign, a problem as real today as it will be tomorrow -- the math. as the president explained in his first post-election interview on bloomberg this afternoon. >> it's a simple proposition that you can't raise enough revenue, and if you don't raise enough revenue through closing loopholes and deductions, then it's going to be middle class families who make up the difference. >> indeed. as the president notes, you can't get $800 billion in revenue without eliminating, for example, charitable deductions, which would put all manner of hospitals, shelters, and churches on the road to ruin.
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as the president said, that's not his idea of a balanced approach. >> middle class seniors who are on medicare, young people who are trying to get student loans to go to college, i can't ask them to sacrifice and not ask anything of higher income folks. >> no, that's republicans job, of course, a very special christmas for the very, very rich brought to you by the makers of romney and ryan. congressman charles rangel is a democrat from new york and he joins us live from capitol hill. good afternoon, sir. jay carney said today that the republicans' offer is, i'm quoting him, magic beans and fairy dust. speaker boehner says democrats like you are living in la la land. as one serving his 22nd term in congress, can you tell us, sir, who is living in an enchanted universe and who is operating on planet earth? >> well, quite frankly, the
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republican party is so confused that they don't truly realize that president obama won re-election, and there are certain parts of them that said, hell, no, they're not going to accept that. even mitt romney has gone off to shangri-la somewhere because of their refusal to accept reality. instead of just saying, as the president has said, that you can't get to $800 billion without hurting so many people, americans, and that it would be unacceptable, why don't we tell speaker boehner, first of all, that's going to be unacceptable by republicans and most americans. two, why don't you lay out the $800 billion? i for one, if you didn't care about the economy and you didn't care about the american people, you bet your life you can get $800 billion or trillion dollars out of raising -- eliminating deductions and tax credits. >> but conman, he kncongressman
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you muster all those deductions together they only amount to about $400 billion. >> i think we could do that. i think we can do it. first of all, you have to make certain that local and state tax deductions are not there. then you take away all the charitable deductions that we have. then you take away all of the mortgage deductions for the rich and the middle income, all that you have there. and then you start looking at the deductions that you have for children, for earned income tax credits, for the poor people that are there. if you really look at everything that so many americans have taken for granted and even if you don't reach the $800 billion, at least you will find out what is this man talking about. just don't say you can't do it, it's not arithmetic. give them a piece of chalk, go to the blackboard, and show us, mr. speaker, what the heck are you talking about? >> well, as speaker boehner,
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sir, prepares to light the tree, one wonders how much good cheer he's feeling from his conservative senate colleague jim demint who has chastised him today and i'm quoting mr. de ment menthe, speaker boehner's $800 billion tax hike will destroy american jobs and allow politicians in washington to spend even more while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny, and he continues with this line, big government is the cause of our debt crisis. sir, big government, what about the two big long wars and the big bush tax cuts as being responsible for the in accordance debt? did they have no part to play? >> well, there's no question about that, but the truth of the matter is you start your slashing of government in matter what part, laying off people, throwing them into the unemployment marment, making certain we have no disposable income, can't pay for mortgages,
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can't pay rent, can't pay for food and services, what happens to the small businessman that's already catching hell in the community? in other words, unless people get together and have some protection for the vulnerable and to make certain that those in the top 2% pay their fair share, and the truth of the matter is that i meet some of these people on the train coming back and forth from washington to new york, and they are saying that no one represents them in terms of protecting them against an increase in the taxes. these taxes haven't been changed since 1950. many of these people go from millionaires to billionaires and they expect that the government should be able to demand from them a share of the responsibility that it is to be working, living, and make this type of money in these great united states. and so they're protecting people who are not asking to be protected, and they are out hurting the people that god knows need the protection. >> you said earlier, sir, that some republicans don't seem to realize that the president did,
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indeed, win the election, that democrats increased their numbers in the senate, and in january in the house. but this is what the president actually said. we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up and we're not going to be able to get a deal without it. so i have to ask you, sir, if they don't believe na the election delivered the president back into the white house, are they ever going to agree to this tax rise? >> well, i just hope that they're not looking forward to having this so-called fiscal fall. i never thought any responsible member, democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, would want to see our country embarrassed to such an extent that it would say basically we can't govern except by sequester. but i know one thing. if, indeed, all of the taxes go up and the first bill that the president has is reducing taxes for 98% of the people, that's going to pass with almost 100% republican support. it's a bad scenario.
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it's an irresponsible scenario. but it is one. >> well, i guess it is. in further signs of gop implosion, speaker boehner has stripped four house republicans of their committee seats saying they're not team players. they have, of course, have responded very angrily accusing the speaker of not allowing conservatives to be true to their principles. i have to ask you, sar, how is speaker boehner supposed to reach a deal with the president when members of his own party treat him with such contempt and oppose him. >> i'm afraid speaker bain ser trying to count votes to see how he's going to get re-elected by the republicans, and believe me, the way he's going and dividing his party, the votes may not be there. and he's not just getting rid of members of congress, you're getting rid of their staffs. you're providing a whole line of division within the republican ranks.
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i tell you as much as partisan as i am and as much as a democrat i am, this is no time for the party staff and what not to be as confused as the leadership and that is what is happening on the other side of the aisle. >> congressman charles rangel of new york, sir, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. i now know why republicans want to cut the department of education. they're frightened of math. stay with us. stay with us.
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just 28 days to go, and we're back with more on the high stakes negotiations over the fiscal cliff. speaker john boehner says he's eager to sit down with the president now that republicans have put forward what he called
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a middle ground proposal. but that's not quite how white house spokesman jay carney sees the offer. >> we don't know who pays. we don't know what we're talking about in terms of actual legislation to increase revenues. it's magic beans and fairy dust. >> let's get right to our panel now. in philadelphia is professor james peterson. in washington msnbc contributor dr. jared bernstein, senior fellow at the center on budget and policy priorities and a former economist for vice president joe biden. jared, if i might start with you, speaker boehner says he put forward a middle ground proposal. no tax increases for the healthiest of americahealthy est of americans, yet he wants to rage the eligibility of medicare and he wants to slash billions from every program. if that's a middle ground
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proposal, i would rather have the paul ryan budget but maybe they're the same thing. >> i was thinking what does the right side of the spectrum look like. you're absolutely right. if you look at the top lines here, which is all we have really, jay carney is right. there are no details here. the first thing you have that should really raise eyebrows is they talk about $800 billion in new revenues from unspecified loophole closures. where have we heard that before? i heard in your introduction references to the romney/ryan campaign. i mean, that didn't work in the context of a campaign. with the fiscal cliff three weeks away, it's absolutely crazy to be talking at that level of nonspecificity. and then, yes, you're right. you're talking about not just holding tax rates where they are, which wouldn't really work for high income people, but lowering tax rates and then making up your spending cuts by kicking the heck out of social insurance perhaps, medicare,
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medicaid, and social security. this is big time robin hood in reverse without any specifics at absolutely the worst time. >> professor peterson, grover norquist appears to think the president regards himself as a monarch preparing for coronation. take a listen to what he told my colleague, alex wagner, earlier today. >> and he thinks somebody made him king and he's going to have more taxes, more spending, and more regulations. it's a real problem for him. he doesn't have the mandate he thinks he does. so i think he takes us over the cliff because he doesn't -- he's got blinders on. he doesn't see where he stands in the universe. >> the president will take us over the cliff because he doesn't understand his place in the universe. professor, one minute the president is a communist dictator. the next minute he's a european monarch. i thought the president was simply responding to the overwhelming view of the people, and they say that the wealthiest of americans should pay a little
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more. >> you're right, martin, and look at the pot calling the kettle black here. if anyone is a monarch of their own sort of political realm, that would be grover norquist. he is unelected. he's looked at as royalty and he's got all of these sort of seve sever serfs who have made their pledge to him. this is a moment when consumer confidence and sort of the retail market finds its sort of zenith of the fiscal year. for people to be concerned about the payroll tax cut and some of these other draconian measures that the republicans have put on the table as part of their new compromise for the fiscal hill or slope or whatever you want to call it seems to me to be where we need to be putting pressure here. we need to have a different conversation at this time of year because it's an important moment for consumption in this country. regardless of where you are on this issue, this is the time when people consume most. a payroll tax cut or increase being on the table in these
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discussions can dampen some of the opportunities we have to keep our economy going. >> jared, why does speaker boehner persist with the mathematical impossibility that closing loopholes and deductions will magically achieve the goal of raising sufficient revenues when we know that many of these deductions are cherished by the majority of americans? >> right. that's why you never hear any specificity. if you started actually talking about which loopholes you're going to close, you actually find that, you know, my loophole is your great job creation measure or for that matter is critically important in preserving charitable organizations out there. so that's a great way to really just keep this thing locked in neutral. look, the point on the tax rates is really important, and it goes back to pure republican orthodoxy. it has nothing to do with economics. this is supply side trickle down economics.
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i think jay carney called it fairy dust. the idea that it tax rates nudge up a percent or two on the top 2%, you will bring the economy to its knees. the nonpartisan congressional budget office showed if the rates increased on the top 2% of households, gdp growth would be almost exactly the same next year. it doesn't have the growth effects and in the long term getting our budget on a sustainable path is positive for the economy. it's an orthodoxy that's wrong and polluted our fiscal politics for way too long. the president has the opportunity to do something about it and i'm glad he's holding fast. >> i want to put something to both of you, first with professor peterson, there is a broader context to this whole discussion because corporate profits have just reached a record for the third quarter of this year. yet at the same time the united states has the highest percentage of low wage earners of almost any developed nation. if you listen to boehner's proposal, it does nothing but harm the working poor.
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>> did you want -- >> professor, you first. >> well, the thing is this is -- thank you for injecting some reality into the conversation here, martin because at the end of the day, the concentration of wealth at the top is really where we need to be focusing. people want to talk about the top 2% carrying undue burden of the tax burden of this country but they have an undue amount of the concentration of the wealth of this country. that disparity is something we need to focus on in these conversations. that's the reason why we need to keep the bush tax cuts for the 98%. that's the reason why we can incrementally raise taxes on the top 2% and have a healthy figures cal policy going forward. >> i was just looking at the wage numbers this morning. i noticed something really quite disturbing and it amplifies both what you were saying martin and something james said earlier. if you actually look at the year-over-year wage growth of nominal wages, they're actually growing for middle income workers now. the kind of workers you're talking about here, not the
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corporate profit beneficiaries, their wage growth is the lowest on record year-over-year than at any time in this survey which began in the mid 1960s. so contrast that with your corporate profit point and think about in the context of taking the payroll tax break out of the system. that's $1,000 bucks for a median earner. >> an attack on the middle class. professor james peterson and jared bernstein, thank you so much. next the gop civil war. yes, this tilt is a little more lively than the war on christmas. stay with us. >> time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. lauren wanted to introduce the corrine dish kimchi to mainstream america. she created mother-in-law's
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in a monday night political purge, speaker john boehner has mercilessly stripped four of his republican colleagues of their precious committee seats. their unforgivable offenses including not being team players. but the speaker's purge has invoked an immediate response with one ousted member calling
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it vindictive. one saying freedom of speech may no longer apply within the speaker's cause cuss. luke, congressman huelskamp has issued this statement. the gop leadership might think they have silenced conservatives but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions. is this a sure sign that speaker boehner's offer to the president has fallen very flat along severe conservatives? >> reporter: well, it's two issues, martin. those specific individuals speaker boehner removed them because, quote, unquote, they haven't been team players. on individual issues the gop leadership has felt they have gone too far to the right and voiced too much opposition -- >> hang on a second, luke.
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we just had two years of the greatest and finest obstruction that we've ever seen from republicans in the house. how have they not been team players? they have played brilliantly? >> reporter: according to the gop loeadership, they were not n line enough, they were part of caucuses that voted against any potential deal and it was too public for their taste. in terms of the fiscal cliff offer that the gop offered yesterday, a lot of right wing interest groups, specifically americans for prosperity, said, quote, this spending reduction is too small. this plan leaves conservatives wanting. also interesting today mitch mccandle when asked about speaker boehner's proposal did not necessarily deflect it but did not embrace it wholeheartedly. sort of saying it's nice that came out of the house side. so there is a little bit of consternation amongst real conservatives about this plan because the $800 billion in revenue, they see that as a tax hike, but as we well know, that's the basement for any sort
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of compromise. those folks are pretty much going to have to come along. >> nbc's luke russert. thanks so much. >> take care. >> stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. bp has paid overthe people of bp twenty-threeitment to the gulf. billion dollars mmm i can still see you. to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america.
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choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. from a very dmx christmas and let's make a deal to an eat your peas moment. here are today's "top lines." the deaf niths of insanity. >> we know dasher and dancer -- >> we have the potential of getting a deal done. >> comet and cupid. >> speaker boehner was here at the white house last night for a christmas party. the two of you didn't even speak. >> do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? >> it's not me being stubborn, not me being partisan. it's just matter of math. >> rudolph the red nose reindeer. >> i was flabbergasted. >> the speaker's proposal right
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now is still out of balance. >> republicans ever saying we have to eat our spinach, we have to eat our broccoli, we have to turn off the tv, turn off our video games. >> obama went to twitter to encourage low information voters. >> what goes beyond socialism is communi communism. that's what's going on. >> brian's cell phone, it's stuck in the lining. >> can somebody get a scissors. >> i can still feel the calls. >> that's right. >> victoria secret angels sans wings. >> we go to the victoria secret catalog and said can any of these people talk? >> you're the expert. >> welcome back to the show. >> i don't want to do this. >> merry [ bleep ] christmas. >> i'm not going to back away from my campaign. >> war on christmas! >> deadly serious. >> become a little predictable. >> who is speaking out besides me? >> the rest of us can't swing a dead elf. >> keep this country sane. >> without knocking over an inflatable snow globe. >> do loses these wars.
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>> there's a tv channel devoted to a yule log. >> go to billo' >> why bill, why? >> you'll go down to history, what? >> joy reid is managing editor of and incapably laughing and maria teresa kumar is an msnbc contributor. merry christmas to both of you before turning to a very real war which is civil war in the republican caucus. two gop members tossed from paul ryan's budget committee. the crime was bucking leadership too often. they already have several big name conservative organizations behind them. how big a problem is this conflict civil war for john bainer? >> i think it's a huge problem. john boehner has never been able to exert leadership over his caucus. he has the biggest gavel any speaker has ever had and he has no power over his caucus.
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he knows the math but he has these donors. the donor class in the republican party is very far right and they feel they should be exempted from participating in funding our civil society. they just don't feel that their taxes should be raised one dime. >> these are not elected people, these are funders that throw money at the republican party. >> absolutely. they have become divorced from having to rely on the republican establishment to channel their money through. they could go to third party groups and they did it effectively. think of a guy like dick lugar who was winning by saddam hussein margins who was winning in indiana but he got knocked off by some loon. these outside groups can target any republicans that step out of line. they can pour money into changing republican party leadership. those people are always off to his right saying, listen, raise our taxes one dime, and you're done. >> wow. maria, boehner also has a major fire brand on the right against him, senator jim demint of south
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carolina. he says today, speaker boehner's $800 billion tax hike will destroy american's jobs. he's important because he spends a lot of money on far right primary challenges. how do these men continue to be so forceful and so powerful? >> well, welcome to the 2016 presidential election, martin. >> right. >> basically what senator demint is basically saying is he's recognizing that what happened with mitt romney was that mitt romney didn't have a republican base. what he's basically say ising not only do i have a base, i have the tea party base. this is actually where i actually don't completely agree with joy. i think what boehner is recognizing is that the tea party is actually sunsetting. it's not as strong as it was. by him basically removing these folks from leadership, he's finding his swagger back and saying you're going to have to come with me because otherwise there isn't going to be a tea party because if we own want to be a party of winning congress but not the senate or the
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congress, we'll continue going down that direction. he's continuing to try to herd cats but look at the global perspective and coming back more to the center right. >> joy, here is how bad it's gotten for the gop. we saw in a poll that herman cain is ahead of saxby chambliss por the 2014 senate primary by get this, 14 points. don't tell me we could be looking at senator herman cain in two years' time. >> this is the point. you still do have these three wings of the republican party. yes, you have the business wing, the wall street wing, that wants a deal for the fiscal cliff because they're looking at their pocketbooks. you still have this hard ride evangelical wings and that tea party wings. those two things still have a lot of sway, and they still want the kind of candidates that are like herman cain. they still think people like even john boehner are too moderate. even though boehner is putting forward essentially the mitt romney economic plan as his
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supposed compromise with the president. that's not far right enough for a big chunk of the republican base. >> maria, let me play for you something one of the outcast congressmen tossed by speaker boehner said today. listen to this. >> it's not about principles. it's about blind obedience. dissent will not be tolerated, particularly conservative dissent. >> he was upset throughout that forum today. is conservative blogger eric ericsson, he writes this. conservatives must seek retribution or become the paper tiger. maria, what will the retribution look like? >> i think we're all a little scared of that. >> i am. >> right. but i think that let's be honest, i think what joy is saying is absolutely right. unless the republican party figures out a way to coalesce, they're only going to be basically a strong party in midterm elections. there's no way they are going to actually -- they actually reflect the majority of voters when they come in between presidential elections. so they have to figure out their strategy. are they looking for short-term
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gains in the senate and possibly continue controlling the house or do they actually want the white house? that's where, again, boehner is trying to herd cats. he has to make sure they bring people more into the center in order for him to actually make sure they have a shot some day at the white house. >> you know what? the problem for the republicans right now is there's an alternate theory of why they lost the election that's emerged from the conservative base which is essentially seeing itself as in competition with establishment republicans, not in partnership with them. that alternate theory by people like eric ericsson -- >> meaning that romney was an establishment appointment and was not the kind of nominee that they would have selected. >> exactly. they said that the far right voters stayed home. so their alternate theory is they didn't go conservative enough. even though this was a guy who ran on turning medicare into a voucher program. >> this is a magical math though. >> sorry, go ahead. >> this is their magical math. when you start looking at the demographic shifts, there's no way that even if the folks that came out and voted, if they had
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even gone up to 2% or 3%, they could have even contested obama's base. and i think that's what the republicans -- they have to recognize the demographics are no longer on their side. i think that's what boehner is trying to do. god bless him for it because it's not going to be easy but that's exactly what they have to do in order to figure out how do they become a political party, not a sunsetting party, but a political party that has force, not just within the walls of d.c. but outside as well. >> i'm reminded 69 words of george carlin who said it's called the american dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. joy, maria teresa, thank you. the guys who gave us the go go '90s call for even greater tax hikes than the president. shouldn't we listen to them? stay with us. >> please, do something frightening between now and the midterm elections because if you do not, the republicans will have to do something truly terrifying like addressing the needs of blacks, women, and hispanics.
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one group of democrats who know a thing or two about budget surpluses think the president can go a little further with his fiscal cliff plan. members of president clinton's economic team, people like bob rubin and larry podesta, have put their name to a plan that calls for $200 billion more in tax revenue than even the president is asking. for more now we have with us william cohen in new york, a columnist for the bloomberg view, and clarence page, a columnist for "the chicago tribune." welcome to both of you. clarence, one thing this makes plain is democrats are feeling confident in a fiscal cliff win. why not ask for more? >> well, they're certainly asking for more than president obama is asking, and that is the point here. they feel that the policies of the clinton era that gave us the
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prosperity that we saw back then would be good to impose now. they are really calling for a different kind of arrangement pushing for a simplification of the tax code that would include taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages which would cross income lines, those kind of consumer taxes hit lower income tax people -- taxpayers as well as upper, and they want to get rid of the amt, that automatic tax that's designed to make sure that older -- rather, the higher income earners will pay some minimum tax, automatically a minute tax. they have some additional taxes. they want to get rid of capital gains tax that benefitted mitt romney. it's a different arrangement but a more progressive tax.
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>> bill, interestingly their plan suggests that tax increases should start at $422,000 instead of $250,000 that the president has set. why would that make such a difference or not so much of a difference in circumstances? >> well, martin, it would obviously hit fewer people. you know -- >> and therefore, produce less revenue. >> produce less revenue but at higher rates potentially than the president is talking about. i mean, you know, the thing is even though we feel like we are constantly hearing from bob rubin and larry somers and roger altman, a little bit of a bad penny -- >> you have heard this before. >> on the other hand, they were absolutely right. even bill krystal agrees with them. the economy boomed during the middle of the clinton two administrations when the high tax rate was at 39.6%. we had a huge expansion of productivity and everybody was feeling quite prosperous as i recall. and so the question is why not seriously go back to something like that again?
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i think we can stipulate that nobody wants to pay more taxes. i don't want to pay any more taxes, you don't, but we've just come through this period where we've funded two huge, expensive wars and didn't pay for it, and now the bill is coming due. what a surprise. we've got to get around to paying for it. >> what about this idea of killing this carried interest notion and also increasing the amount charged against dividends. of course, warren buffett has suggested if you're earning over $1 million in terms of your capital benefits, then you should be tacked at a minimum of 30%. does that make sense? >> it certainly makes sense that the carrot interest, this province of private he can quit guys like mitt romney that we've been talking about for years, should go up. it's not right that they get to, you know, get a low tax rate -- >> or recalibrating what is earned income but having it as interest. >> it's completely not fair. it doesn't pass the fairness test. that rate should be -- but that's not a lot of people who get that benefit. and capital gains in general, i
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think that rate can stand to go up and, frankly, warren buffett is right. you're not going to not do an investment because you may have to pay a little more in taxes. >> clarence, we don't know for certain what speaker boehner's reaction to this plan is however i suspect it will be something like his reaction to the president's. >> itches just flabbergasted. i said you can't be serious. right now i would say we're nowhere, period. we're nowhere. >> we're nowhere and he's flabbergasted. can we really get away with just the $800 billion in tax revenue that he promotes as being the answer to the fiscal cliff? >> well, that needs to be worked out, but i think it's interesting that while speaker boehner says we're getting nowhere, the republicans are already starting off from a position that is closer to obama's than they were at this time last year. they are now backing away from the entitlement cuts they were talking about. they haven't given any specifics
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on what kind of deductions and loopholes they want to get rid of, but they're leaving that for the committees on capitol hill if they can get away with it. but we see president obama getting tougher right now on what he's calling for while the republicans, if you look at the numbers, they're really not asking for as much. i think we're seeing speaker boehner getting his ducks in a row to cut a deal that is going to try to get settled before the fiscal cliff goes over. >> bill, "the washington post" today has a poll which says 53% of americans are likely to blame republicans and just 27% the president if they don't agree on a fiscal cliff. we know that after the election, 60% of people said let's raise taxes on the wealthiest. what more does john boehner need? >> i don't understand the republicans' thinking on this. i really don't. this is power politics. they don't have the leverage in this situation. if they don't cut a deal within
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the next 30 days, you're going to see tax rates rise on all americans. you're going to see huge cuts in the defense budget. we're probably going to have a double dip recession, and until the congress then gets its act together to fix it and lower rates on the middle class, you will have the republicans essentially responsible for raising tax rates on the middle class. i can't imagine, again, bill krystal said this yesterday. i can't imagine why the republicans would want to be known as raising tacks xes on t middle class. >> thank you both. next, the president reacts to speaker boehner. stay with us. this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news.
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in his first interview since re-election, the president has said that his negotiations with speaker boehner are simply a continuance of what he proposed throughout the campaign, a balanced and responsible approach to resolving the deficit. >> unfortunately, the speaker's
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proposal right now is still out of balance. you know, he talks, for example, about $800 billion worth of revenues, but he says he's going to do that by lowering rates, and when you look at the math, it doesn't work. >> nbc's kristin welker joins us now from the white house. kristin, republicans keep calling for the president to come into the negotiating table, but if speaker boehner repeatedly puts out proposals that refuse to raise tacks on the wealthiest of americans, then the president has made it clear there's no point in hosting a discussion, hasn't he? >> he has. and right now the president's senior administration officials still believe that the president has the leverage in this argument because he won re-election, because he ran on this very platform of increasing taxes for the wealthiest americans, and also because if you look at the polls, the majority of americans agree with them. house speaker john boehner saying i have put my best offer on the table. he even has some members of his own conference saying he's
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giving in too much. you talked about these two men poe lententially sitting down a talking. president obama said it's not the time to sit down. that essentially these gothss are getting hammered out behind the scenes. you had the white house congressional holiday party last night, and according to multiple sources who were there, house speaker john boehner and the president didn't even speak. the house speaker didn't get in line to shake hands with the president, to greet him. i have spoken to sources within his office who say there were a lot of people there and he sees the president all the time, but it's a sign that these negotiations at least at their top levels have come to a bit of a stand still and that is something that is causing a lot of people concern tonight. >> it's a shame he isn't offer that courtesy to the president. the president has sate the current proposal is unbalanced, but with speaker boehner now being attacked by people within his own caucus, as you know, does this not suggest he probably won't be able to do any better, and i guess that must mean we're going to get to the
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end of the year and go over the cliff as its described? >> reporter: well, it could. i think there's a lot of pressure on all of these lawmakers to get a deal done before the end of the year. and president obama's interview today with bloomberg, there seemed to be a little bit of wiggle room. he didn't specify if tax rates for the wealthiest americans had to go back to the clinton era levels. it's possible they could find compromise there and they could wonch o work on a second tranche of a deal to lower tacks on the wealthiest americans after the first of the year. certainly the window is closing. >> kristin welker with a slip of the tongue for once. thank you so much. and we'll be right back. ♪ you are my sunshine, my only sunshine ♪ ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] choose the same brand your mom trusted for you. children's tylenol, the #1 brand
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speaker john boehner will stand alongside a 65-foot spruce from colorado and switch on the christmas tree lights at the u.s. capitol. here is the scene live on the west front lawn where the magnificent united states air force band is providing the musical accompaniment. it is a most welcome christmas tradition and we hope he enjoys it because there's been very precious little christmas cheer for speaker boehner over the last 224 hou4 hours. last night he had to remove four republicans from house committee positions. although they say they're just sticking to their conservative principles. earlier today senator jim demint issued a statement via his website hammering the speaker's counteroffer to the president as they tried to avoid a fiscal cliff crisis at the end of this year. quote, speaker boehner's $800 billion tax hike will destroy american jobs.
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this is why republicans must oppose tax increases. but both senator demint and those four ousted congressmen, excuse me, i'm going to have to take a drink. i'm so sorry. and those ousted congressmen should reconsider their kris simples of speaker boehner because while his plan does not raise taxes on the rich, it does contain at least three evil spirits that will visit the working poor and the middle class for every christmas to come. first, speaker boehner says nothing about extending the payroll tax cut and that would mean at least $1,000 less in the pockets of workers next year. he wants to raise the eligibility age for medicare benefits up to 67, and this would obviously affect manual workers whose bodies are already weary by the time they reach 65. and speaker boehner wants to cut $300 billion from discretionary spending, which includes social


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